The highlight of this area in France is certainly the UNESCO heritage listed Cité de Carcassonne fortress.
Its outer walls extend around for more than 1000 metres making it a pretty impressive site!
The best way to get an appreciation of how well protected this fortress was made is by walking the perimeter and then later appreciating its size from a far too.
After seeing the inside the Gothic styled Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, I rather just enjoyed my time here meandering through the small streets taking in the charming exteriors.
Since pre-Roman times a settlement has existed at the site estimated from around 6th century BC.
From the 13th century the town has had more of the fortified appearance we see today although its undergone various restorations since then of course particularly by Viollet-le-Duc, a French architect well known for his restorations of medieval and Gothic buildings.
There’s many stores inside the fortress catering for tourism and most enticing were the works of art made from sugar and chocolate goodness.
I instead opted for a good old fashioned crepe stop for my afternoon fix (which I might’ve done almost every day for two weeks, but who’s counting right).
Although the fortress may be what Carcassonne is best recognised for, this part of the country also makes fantastic wine so definitely try a glass while you’re here!
After exploring Carcassonne for the better part of the day my group checked into our beautiful WW1 era hotel called Hotel du Soleil Le Terminus.
Apparently it was once a theatre and although it’s a little worn it’s easy to see the grandeur which it once held. There’s also a modern pool and spa area worth taking advantage.
My room actually had a view of the Carcassonne fortress too! It wasn’t exactly close by as you can see, but that little area centre left in the picture means it’s still in sight and pretty easy to get to via public transport.
The hotel was also a very short walk to the main part of town with plenty of options for dining and shopping available.
A macaron break in old town Carcassonne